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Long considered one of the best and most beautiful hill stations in India, Darjeeling is a dreamy little spot that is sure to calm your nerves and also take your breath away.
Long considered one of the best and most beautiful hill stations in India, Darjeeling is a dreamy little spot that is sure to calm your nerves and also take your breath away. There is a lot to see and many things to do in Darjeeling. If you are planning a visit to this hill station any time soon, this article will help you plan your holiday in a better way.
* Go River Rafting on the Teesta: Adrenaline junkies will love this idea, and you will too even if you’re not an adventure sports buff. River rafting is not just a great team sport, it is good for your physical and mental fitness as well. One of the most exciting things to do in Darjeeling is to go river rafting on the fearsome Teesta river. The river is full of swift and strong rapids, so the experience is a challenging but exhilarating one. The rafting course is set from Grades 1 to 4, so discuss your options with the guide before you set out.
* Take the Ghoom Toy Train: Young children and adults alike will love this popular thing to do in Darjeeling: take the toy train ride from Ghoom right up to Kurseong Point. The views along the route are breathtaking, to say the least. Alight at Kurseong and have a hearty meal at any of the restaurants in Darjeeling’s famous food district. Imagine tucking into a plate of noodles or a bowl of thukpa with the majestic mountains to look at as you eat.
* Catch the Sunrise at Tiger Hill. The Indian metros and cities are normally so polluted that blue, clear skies are a rarity in most of them. If you have not watched a spectacular sunrise in several months, then this is the best thing to do in Darjeeling: go up to Tiger Hill while it’s still dark and wait there with a cup of tea or coffee, and your partner. Now watch with bated breath as the sun begins to rise and paint the sky in an irrepressible palette of colours. It is one of the most romantic things to do here, and is not to be missed for the world.
* Tour a Tea Plantation. You cannot visit Darjeeling without experiencing its world famous tea. Apart from drinking the famous brews here, you can also visit a tea plantation to understand how the tea leaves are grown and harvested, the processing and manufacturing, packing, etc. You can tour the famous tea gardens here and walking among the rows of tea bushes, and even sip on the tea made at some of the bigger plantations.
* Pay Your Respects to Brave Gorkha Soldiers: The Batasia Loop is a scenic and historically iconic place to visit in Darjeeling. It is a railway track looped around the Tiger Hill, hence the name. One of the most popular things to do in Darjeeling is to visit this spot to pay respects at the Gorkha War Memorial erected here. The memorial was erected in memory of the Gorkha soldiers who perished as part of the British armed forces fighting in the two World Wars.
* Enjoy the Local Food: Darjeeling’s authentic local food is the stuff of legend. Made with freshly ground herbs and spices and using local produce, the food is hearty and comforting. You can have it any of the famous restaurants in Darjeeling. We recommend beef or chicken thukpa, fried or steamed momos, and rice noodles with a tangy tamarind and tomato sauce cooked in garlic.
Often, deciding about the best time to visit Darjeeling, or any other place, is quite subjective. You might be one of those visitors that does not like a lot of crowd when you’re exploring a place. Or you might actually like the crowds milling about and giving the place a buzz. Or you might be fine with scorching heat, while not being able to adjust to biting cold weather. So when you visit this spot and the things you do in Darjeeling depend on many different factors. However, we decided to give you a heads up about how it is to travel in Darjeeling in the different seasons. This information will help you book for the right season and also pack accordingly.
* Visiting Darjeeling in the Summer: The summer months in Darjeeling often start from March and end in June. The summer is peak tourist season in Darjeeling, so it is safe to assume that this would be the right time to visit this hill station. The day time temperatures rise as high as 28⁰C in the month of May, while peak summer temperature is often not above 30⁰C. There might a light mist in the early morning, but this soon clears up when the Sun comes out. This is the right time to visit also because all the tourist spots and adventure activities are open, so you and your family can have an awesome time exploring this dreamy spot all day. Book a campfire night during your visit to make the most of the season.
* Visiting Darjeeling in the Monsoon: The monsoon season is quite intense in these parts. Being at a higher elevation, Darjeeling experiences cold and misty rainfall in heavy bursts. However, the rainfall spells may be sporadic. This means there is no way to predict when the next shower would come, or whether one would come at all. We urge you not to make the Darjeeling visit during the monsoon because driving or riding a two-wheeler on the slushy, slick roads is quite dangerous. The roads are already small and not in very good condition. On the upside, there are not many tourists here during the monsoon season, so you can move about freely when it’s not raining. However, some of the restaurants in Darjeeling and trekking trails are closed during this time.
* Visiting Darjeeling in the Winter: Though the winter is bitterly cold in these parts, especially in the months between December and February, there are many who prefer to visit this hill station during this time. You will love the winter here if you don’t mind the chilly winds and possibility of heavy snowfall. Be warned that many roads and spots are snowed in during this time, and tourist footfalls significantly reduce. If it snows a lot, you may be forced to stay indoors with the heater switched on in your hotel or resort room. But if you still want to visit Darjeeling during this time, ask your resort for a list of things to do in Darjeeling in the limited places that you can visit. Carry warm winter clothing and stout rubber soled boots to be able to navigate the slippery terrain in the winter.
This gorgeous hill station is extremely safe for tourists. The area sees scores of tourists almost all year round, and more so in the summer months between March and June. The local residents are friendly and warm, and there are hardly any instances of harassment. Women also feel quite safe here, whether they are travelling alone, or with their partners, or with their group of friends.
However, it helps to keep yourself safe from minor antisocial elements like pickpockets. Do not leave your drink unattended in the bar or pub if you are out in the evening, and do not be overfriendly with strangers you meet on the trip. Women travelling alone are advised not to invite other tourists they met outside back to their hotel rooms.
Darjeeling is quite clean, and the local residents pride themselves on maintaining high levels of hygiene in public places. There are strict fines if you are found littering any public place. Make sure to respect all rules and customs, particularly when visiting places of worship. Dressing modestly helps when visiting temples or monasteries – this means wearing full clothing and even covering your head.
Do not take unsolicited photographs of local residents or their homes, and keep your camera away in places of worship. Certain areas like museums and temples allow photography in certain areas only.
Now that your Darjeeling holiday is on track to becoming a reality, it is time to pick the right resort to stay in. We recommend the Club Mahindra Darjeeling Resort in West Bengal.
This premium resort property is located opposite a sprawling tea estate, with magnificent views of the surrounding mountain ranges from every room. The 4-star resort is located away from the noise of the markets and tourists milling about there. Wake up to the sights of Kanchenjunga mountains, sip on tea in the balcony and proceed to the on-site restaurant for a sumptuous breakfast. If you would rather like to mill about the property, you can explore to your heart’s content and even visit the nearby tea estates. This resort promises the best rooms, warm service, recreation for you and the young ones, and the most enjoyable stay.
Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Limited (MHRIL), India’s leading player in the leisure hospitality industry, offers quality family holidays as also stated by Club Mahindra Membership Reviews and Club Mahindra Reviews, primarily through vacation ownership memberships. While Club Mahindra is the flagship brand offering Club Mahindra Membership, other brands offered by the company are – Club Mahindra Resorts Fundays and Svaastha Spa. As of Mar 31, 2019, MHRIL has 61+ resorts across India and abroad and its subsidiary, Holiday Club Resorts Oy, Finland, a leading vacation ownership company in Europe has 33 resorts across Finland, Sweden and Spain. Visit us at https://www.clubmahindra.com/
Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Ltd. (MHRIL), a part of Leisure and Hospitality sector of the Mahindra Group, offers quality family holidays primarily through vacation ownership memberships and brings to the industry values such as reliability, trust and customer satisfaction. Started in 1996, the company's flagship brand ‘Club Mahindra’, today has over 250,000 members , who can holiday at 100+ resorts in India and abroad.